Evolution At Work: Why Traditional Enterprise Tech Will Get Killed By Consumer-oriented Products
Three of the most thought-provoking articles I have read this year on enterprise technology have shined a light on a new, emerging phenomenon: how the rapid advancement of Web 2.0, cloud computing, tablet and smart phone technologies has opened the door to allow consumer-oriented products to displace traditional enterprise technology:
- R “Ray” Wang, CEO of Constellation Research, explored this from the perspectives of speed, innovation and freedom of choice, writing about the emergence of consumer technologies that meet robust enterprise needs – fast, cheaper and more flexibility.
- Matt Rossof, in an interview with Andreessen-Horowitz partner Peter Levin, discussed this from the end user experience, asking why people should not get the same ease of use from enterprise tech that they do from the products they use outside of work.
- Thomas Wailgum, writer on enterprise for CIO.com, highlighted the poor customer experiences that can arise after “vendor lock-in”, questioning the business rationale to accept this in light of influx consumer-style, on-demand options now available.
It does not take much research to see the increased use of consumer tech for business. Many of us now can use personal smartphones and tablets to read our corporate email or Skype to conduct free, easy video conferences. App Stores have thousands of business productivity apps we can install instantly. Media giants like CNN use WordPress. Even the US government now uses Drupal, a GSA-managed App Store and Google Office via the cloud.
Why This Is Happening Now
Technology innovation is not new; it happens all the time. What has changed is the emergence of a whole new set of innovations that focus on making it much, much easier to deploy and integrate robust, advanced technology. Three particular developments stand out:
1. Cloud Computing. The Cloud has turned computing into a utility. Fortune 500 firms, SMEs, startups and even individuals can setup business-class environments with equal ease – without the need for large investment in capital or specialized teams.Continued on the next page